Gingrich targets Romney in 'Don't Mass Up' rally
January 6th, 2012
10:22 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich targets Romney in 'Don't Mass Up' rally

Salem, New Hampshire (CNN) - Newt Gingrich held a New Hampshire town hall Friday evening just miles from the bordering state once governed by Mitt Romney, a move designed to highlight the differences between himself and the presidential frontrunner.

The town hall was aptly named "Don't 'Mass Up' New Hampshire."

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"How many of you noticed that the state line seems to have a really significant, almost mythic impact on behavior – on one side, more taxes and bigger government. On the other side, lower taxes and less bureaucracy – that they're really very different psychological mindsets," Gingrich told about 400 people at Salem High School.

That's exactly how the former House speaker is trying to frame the 2012 GOP nomination fight with Romney, who is strongly favored to win the first-in-the-nation primary state.

The longtime congressman from Georgia is laying the groundwork for an ideological battle, characterizing himself as “a Ronald Reagan conservative,” and Romney as “a Massachusetts moderate.”

"It's an attitude which starts from the American people and then reshapes the government, whereas the more moderate establishment model says well you know we have to be realistic," he said. "You couldn't actually solve problems without raising taxes, therefore how do we think of a pleasant way to sell out and raise taxes, preferably by not calling them taxes."

In the back of the high school cafeteria, Jeff Semprini of Portsmouth was behind a table with Newt stickers and t-shirts. He was also selling the t-shirt he was wearing with "Don't Ma$$ up New Hampshire" printed across his chest.

He said the purpose is not to discourage people from moving to New Hampshire.

"Just once you're here don't try to change it to make it like Massachusetts,” he said.

Gingrich said the one-time Massachusetts governor accommodated Boston a lot more than he changed it. Even though he gets criticized for being a Washington insider, the former speaker said, "I actually plan to change Washington."

The former speaker acknowledged the tough road ahead going up against well-financed Romney. “I don’t have their kind of money,” he said, but told the Salem audience enthusiastic volunteers would make the difference.

Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN

Also see:

Huntsman hits Romney ahead of N.H. primary

Boston Globe backs Huntsman

FIRST ON CNN: Santorum to make large ad buy in South Carolina

Santorum tangles with Gingrich, same-sex marriage supporters

McCain courting former South Carolina backers for Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. nytw

    If Newt Gingrich is elected president America will become a colony of the Catholic Empire. He will give all of our freedoms and rights away to the pope.

    January 6, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. TimD

    Gingrich is a joke!

    January 6, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Keep up the good work, Newt! I love the way you and Mittens try to bloody each other; gives all the rational (and not so rational) folks a chance to see what losers you both are!

    January 6, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  4. dennis

    CNN's Fake GOP debate is pure trash, and is nothing but public propaganda to ridicule GOP candidates. CNN is nothing but a Blood Sucking, Democrat Brain Wash Network. You can all go to the infernal regions like General Patton liked to say!

    January 6, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  5. Shelby

    Wow, just look at newton in the picture with this story. Not only does he look petulant, he looks downright creepy.

    There is a reason why your NH and SC poll numbers have dropped, Newton! Will be glad when we don't have to see your bully + crybaby face anymore.

    January 6, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. TreeTopFlier

    PLEASE…Do your patriotic duty and give an honest listen to Jon Huntsman...If you don't find him compelling, move on and cast your vote for the other republican leftovers.

    January 6, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. Larry L

    Don't "Newt up" America.

    January 6, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  8. Carpe Diem

    Because you say that your a "Ronald Reagan Conservative" doesn't make you one. We've seen what we alway knew we would see in unstable, angry time -bomb waiting to go off. It's not very pretty. It's time for him to go back and make millions as an "historian" for Fannie Mae.

    There was a reason he had to leave congress and pay $300,000.00 as a result of ethical violations; and that same reason illustrates why he is a poor candidate for President of the United States of America.

    January 6, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  9. OrangeW3dge

    I like Newt the best of the pack, but I still don't think he's got enough steam to get to the front door of the White House.
    It is becoming a blur of meaningless attacks and misrepresentations. So much so, that when this is over, the American voter may just have lingering doubts about any Republican nominee.

    January 7, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  10. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    The Newt does not care about state lines. The Newt cares, if he cares about anything other that Newt, about money and power. And Power only so far as it gets the Newt a well lined pocket.

    If the Newt were to accidentally be elected to the highest office in our land, everything would be for sale. Jobs would be leaving the country so fast that the whistling sound might deafen coastal dwellers. Strip mines, clearcutting forests, offshre oil rigs, mineral rights to protected lands, etc, all would be for sale to any prospective bidder regardless of the cost to the public. As long as the Newt got his first.

    Just remember that the Newt has already proven to the Legislative branch that he was too unethical to be a Republican. The Republicans have had their Attorney General, the highest legal officer of the USA, sent to prison during the Nixon years. And the Newt was too unethical for them.

    Lord help us

    January 7, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  11. DWagner

    The trouble with Newt is he just plan wrong. Mitt Romney when governor of Mass governed as conservatives.
    Newt own personal life is not that of a conservative, but lived as a liberal. Romney's personal life is a very conservative one and lived that way. It is easier to fast for forty days and forty nights than be an conservative in Mass.

    January 7, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  12. Thomas

    Newt wants to be Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill so badly. Must be painful when he looks in the mirror.

    January 7, 2012 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  13. Joseph Smith

    McCain "massed up" when he referred to Romney as Obama today. The Keystone Cops are in the hizzy!

    January 7, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  14. T'sah From Virginia

    YAWN!!!! Enough is enough – Same OLD!!

    January 7, 2012 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  15. Mark

    Gingrich. Nooooooo!

    January 7, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I can hardly wait for Mittens to come to the Florida republican stronghold, "THe Villages," and explain how privatizing their social security and giving them a medicare voucher will help them. I envision a scene from the old Frankenstein movie where the villagers with torches, pitchforks, shovels, etc., chased the monster. Only now, Mittens will be running from seniors armed with shuffle board sticks, golf clubs, and will be chasing him in golf carts.

    January 7, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |

    Pompous Lizard is a racist liar. Romney will be crammed down all of their GOBP wingnut throats.

    January 7, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  18. Namejkane

    I don't think even one mass newspaper has endorsed dip romney. Should tell you something sence he was gov there, maybe because of the 1 billion defict he left the next gov and the big dig in Boston and the missing hard drives from the gov office, crooks and losers ,clowns an unelectable!!!!

    January 7, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  19. diridi

    GOP guys are funny, nation knows they are bunch of clowns. None is trustworthy truly.

    January 7, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  20. sensible the tune of..... "you're a mean one, Mr. Grinch(Gingrich)!!!"

    January 7, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |